Ponmudy Get his Higher Education Portfolio Back

Chennai: Governor R N Ravi inducted K Ponmudy into the Council of Ministers in the State on Friday afternoon, handing over his old portfolios of Higher Education, including Technical Education, Electronics, Science and Technology as per the recommendations of Chief Minister M K Stalin.

Ravi, who had earlier said ‘no’ to Stalin’s request to reinstate Ponmudy after the Supreme Court, on March 11, suspended his conviction in a disproportionate assets case that had prompted him to resign, had to give in after the apex court pulled him up on Thursday, giving him 24 hours to decide on the re-induction into the Cabinet.

With the Raj Bhavan fixing 3.30 pm as the time for swearing in Ponmudy on Friday, the Chief Minister, along with a couple of his Ministerial colleagues, besides top officials like Chief Secretary Shiv Das Meena, drove down to attend the simple ceremony that lasted just a brief while at the Darbar Hall. Besides exchanging pleasantries, Ponmudy presented a bouquet to Ravi.

Since Ravi had refused to swear in Ponmudy when the Chief Minister had made the recommendation last week, the State government approached the Supreme Court, which flayed the Governor on Thursday for defying its order. So the Governor submitted to the court that he had no intention to go against its orders and also went ahead with the swearing in.

The Chief Minister had also recommended to the Governor the handing over of the portfolios that were being held by Backward Classes Welfare Minister Raja Kannappan back to Ponmudy and to transfer the portfolio of Khadi and Village Industries Board that were with Minister Gandhi to Raja Kannappan.

The swearing in put an end to the controversy that erupted after the Governor refused to oblige the Chief Minister saying that Ponmudy’s conviction was only suspended and not fully cancelled. But the Supreme Court gave the clarification that if it stayed a conviction, it stayed the conviction and said that the Governor had no business to have a subjective perception that it did not wipe off the conviction.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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